The Chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CTFC) believes Ethereum (ETH) is a commodity, despite opinions to the contrary from SEC Chairman Gary Gensler.
Speaking at the Senate’s Agricultural Hearing, CTFC Chair Rostin Behnam says that the second-largest crypto asset by market cap counts as a commodity, making it fall under the jurisdiction of the CTFC.
When asked about U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler’s recent comments that all crypto assets except Bitcoin (BTC) count as securities, Behnam says that he believes ETH is categorically a commodity.
“I’ve made the argument that Ether is a commodity, it’s been listed on exchanges for quite some time, and for that reason it creates a very direct jurisdictional hook for us to police the derivatives market but also the underlying market as well.”
According to Behnam, there’s no doubt in his mind that Ethereum products count as commodities as offering them as such without them actually being so would have legal ramifications.
“There’s no doubt in my mind, and having known this and [having] been at the Commission when Ether futures were listed, that both the exchange and the Commission thought very deeply and thoughtfully about what the product [is] and does it fall within the commodity regime or the security regime?
We would not have allowed the product, in this case the Ether futures product, to be listed on an exchange if we did not feel strongly that it was a commodity asset because we have litigation risk and agency credibility risk.”
Behnam goes on to name other digital assets that he believes count as commodities, such as stablecoins.
“Stablecoins are and should be prudentially regulated financial instruments, notwithstanding a regulatory framework around stablecoins, they’re going to be commodities in my view.”
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